The Washington Post

Romney should listen to former President Bush — we need 4% Growth

Brief note: Today, Santorum made a contribution to the Republican cause.  Even if it was only to acknowledge the obvious, he’s done the right thing to clear the way for Mitt Romney to begin the difficult task ahead. I congratulate him for getting as far as he did, and for being a selfless dad when his daughter needed him. 

But back to the general election: I didn’t mean to offer Carter or any of his other fellow travelers any encouragement this morning by suggesting that Obama could capitalize politically on the havoc his economy has produced.  Among the emotions that the bad economy has produced are discouragement and fear.  I believe Romney must be able to speak to both.  It will not be enough for Republicans to wave the bloody shirt of high gas prices, high unemployment, etc. 

The solution for Romney is in a well-defined growth agenda.  As I’ve said about Obama in the past, he’s never had any political problems that a few quarters of 4% GDP growth wouldn’t solve.  But Obama had to want it to happen; instead he chose to do nothing or the wrong thing. 

Romney needs a growth target with a purpose.  He has to fight the negative stereotype that Carter defined so well this morning.  Romney and company should read George W. Bush’s speech today at the George W. Bush Presidential Center’s conference, “Tax Policies for 4% Growth”.  Noted, they should read it in private, as even the former president laments the fact that the Bush tax cuts are called the Bush tax cuts.  He is a realist.  Anyway, his speech makes the case for growth – robust growth that will change the economic destiny of America.  Romney needs to have his own plan that makes a compelling case for both hope and prosperity. 

Ed Rogers is a contributor to the PostPartisan blog, a political consultant and a veteran of the White House and several national campaigns. He is the chairman of the lobbying and communications firm BGR Group, which he founded with former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour in 1991.


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